A 17-year-old former Jackson High student named Will Campbell was the gunman who sprayed bullets indiscriminately inside a Liberty City teen nightclub, wounding 15 people, Miami police announced Monday.
The teenager was arrested Monday evening for attempted murder and 14 counts of aggravated battery, Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa said.
The shooting sparked outrage in Miami — for the sheer number of victims, and because so many victims were underage, including one as young as 11 years old.
The gunfire happened at 1 a.m. Sept. 28 at The Spot club on Northwest 64th Street and Seventh Avenue.
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Witnesses identified Campbell, whose friend had been involved in a fight with other young men at Norland High in North Miami-Dade. When his friend encountered a 15-year-old rival at the club, Campbell pulled a weapon and fired “point blank in the stomach,” Orosa said.
Then as Campbell ran away, he squeezed off a volley of rounds, hitting the other club goers. The teen wounded in the stomach is in critical condition.
Miami homicide detectives, with help from Miami-Dade schools police investigators, had been looking for Campbell since Friday.
“We need to show people you cannot go into an establishment and shoot indiscriminately and get away with it,” Orosa said. “A lot of innocent people were hit by bullets.”
Campbell had been kicked out several schools in recent months, Orosa said.
In recent years, Campbell had gotten in trouble at Central and Jackson high schools for possessing marijuana, fighting, carrying a knife on school grounds and truancy. He had been arrested once, on a charge of resisting with violence, back in May 2013, according to state records.
Campbell will be booked as a juvenile, but will likely be charged as an adult in the coming weeks.
Miami police detectives, who were interviewing Campbell on Monday night, are still looking for the get-away driver and anyone else involved in the crime.
In all, the 15 shot in and outside The Spot ranged in ages from 11 to 25.
The Spot is a licensed restaurant that can seat up to 50 people. It has a beer and wine license, and teens and children are allowed inside.
Police don’t know if juveniles inside the club were buying drinks, but said federal agents are also investigating the incident.
After the shooting, club manager Tiffany Johnson was cited for distributing alcohol with only a beer and wine license, for not having permits for a jukebox and a pool table, and for buying beer at Presidente Supermarket, which isn’t a legal distributor.
The citations, which also came with a recommendation to remove The Spot’s certificate of use, were issued by the Operation Safe Club Task Force, a group composed of city police, code enforcement officers and members of the state alcohol, tobacco and beverage agency.
For at least the past month The Spot has been advertising Saturday evenings as a teen night, hiring local music talent to attract kids. Also known as The Caribbean Spot, it’s been popular over the years as a hangout for an older crowd that enjoyed island music and fried fish, pigeon peas and cabbage.